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Early Modern Economic and Social History

Easter Term 2017

 

The seminar meets at 5pm in Room 9 of the History Faculty.

We normally have dinner with the speaker afterwards. All welcome.

Convenors:
Amy Erickson, Craig Muldrew, Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Paul Warde.

 

 

27 April 

Margaret Lanzinger (Vienna) and Janine Maegraith (Cambridge)

Composition of Wealth: Between Kinship Entitlements and Market Access

Transfer of wealth by inheritance is still relevant and has even gained in importance in recent years. In this context it is important to define wealth, what it is composed of, and how much of this was handed down to the next generation. These questions are central to our research project. For the area of early modern southern Tyrol we analyse wealth transfers through inheritance and marital property, access to the land market, as well as the broader perspective of how wealth was tied to kinship and entitlements.

 

 4 May

   Poul Holm (Trinity College Dublin)

The North Atlantic Fish Revolution - a Distant Mirror of Climate Change and Globalisation

Cabot’s discovery in 1497 of abundant cod populations around Newfoundland had fundamental geopolitical implications. Through the sixteenth century, marine products were among the first foodstuffs to be exposed to globalising processes while climate change (the Little Ice Age) impacted ocean productivity. The fish revolution changed the human landscapes around the North Atlantic. I explore three questions: (1) what were the natural and economic causes of the fish revolution; (2) how did marginal societies adapt to changes in international trade and consumption patterns around the North Atlantic; and (3) how did consumers, investors, and politics in the major European countries perceive and respond to the fish revolution? The answers may help us understand the role of environment and climate change in the past, how markets impacted marginal communities, and how humans perceived long-term change.

 

 

18 May   

Susan Flavin (Anglia University)

Institutional Diets in Sixteenth-Century Ireland

The study of diet has been almost entirely neglected in Irish historiography. Recent analysis of the English Exchequer Customs accounts has shed some light on Irish developments this period, but the nature of the data limited analysis to luxury goods and macro-historical trends. This paper approaches diet by integrating the customs data with new evidence from a series of household accounts, along with provisioning accounts for the Elizabethan soldiery in Ireland, to build the first detailed picture of comparative dietary trends in this period.

 

The support of the Trevelyan Fund (Faculty of History) is gratefully acknowledged.

 

Easter Term 2017 - print version

 

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